The Woman Behind Adele’s New-Found Confidence

'Her advice is shaping Adele’s behaviour in public and private'


by Grazia Contributor |
Updated on

Adele has been one of music’s biggest stars for over a decade and, in that time, has managed the virtually impossible: to barely put a foot wrong in the public eye. That untarnished streak suffered a blow last month, however, when she faced a major backlash after suddenly cancelling her series of Las Vegas shows on the eve of the opening night. In an Instagram video, in floods of tears, Adele, 33, explained that her team couldn’t get the show ready on time due to the strain Covid had placed on production. Yet her tears were little comfort to frustrated fans who were already in Vegas, having spent thousands on flights and hotels. (People were also quick to draw comparisons to Katy Perry, who managed to pull off her exceedingly camp Vegas residency – with props including a talking toilet – to critical acclaim weeks earlier.)

The ensuing backlash on social media and in newspapers is the first time Adele has been subjected to such widespread criticism – and it has forced her to do some soul searching. ‘Adele has never really had to deal with a lot of negativity,’ a source told Grazia. ‘She was sort of rushed to national treasure status as a teenager, so having to deal with this backlash has hit her quite hard.’

Next came rumours that not only was Adele pulling out of her scheduled performance at the BRITs, but that her relationship with sports agent Rich Paul was under pressure, too. Adele posted to her 49 million followers that this simply wasn’t true. ‘I’m looking forward to [the BRITs],’ she wrote alongside a photo of herself grinning, before ending the caption with a cheeky, ‘Oh, and Rich sends his love.’ She then arrived at the BRITs conspicuously flashing a large diamond ring on her left hand, fuelling rumours that the pair might actually be engaged.

While some loved her direct response, others criticised her attitude in light of the fact there hasn’t been any updates on her rescheduled shows. As one fan commented, ‘Any news on the Las Vegas residency? Still sitting with $1,500 worth of tickets…’

But, regardless of the reaction, friends close to the star say it won’t be the last time you’ll see her speak out to defend herself. Where previously she had a cautious approach to publicity – and scrutiny – nowadays the star is less concerned with what people might think of her.

‘The old Adele wouldn’t have dreamed of addressing things in this way,’ said the source, adding that she’s changed how she does pretty much everything since her divorce from Simon Konecki was finalised in March last year. Adele credits the Glennon Doyle self-help book Untamed – in which the writer describes learning to listen to her inner voice when her own marriage broke down – with helping her discover herself after her split from Simon. ‘It’s as if I just flew into my body for the very first time,’ Adele said after reading it.

Now it transpires that Glennon’s advice, which includes the words ‘the braver we are, the luckier we get’ and has led to her being dubbed the ‘patron saint of female empowerment’, is shaping Adele’s behaviour in public and private. Says the source, ‘She’s always struggled with fame but, the older she gets, the more she wants to show who she really is.’

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